Recording analog drum machines to Tascam Portastudio

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by type14, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. type14

    type14 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2018
    Location:
    LONDON
    Hi there,

    I'd like to know if any of you have every tried recording analog drum machines onto a Tascam Portastudio?

    I want to record a Korg Volca Beats to my Tascam Portastudio 414 mkii but no matter what I try there's feedback and the kick sounds very unstable.

    Any help at all?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    please describe what you are doing.
     
  3. type14

    type14 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2018
    Location:
    LONDON
    Simply plugging the phone output of the Korg Volca (its the only output it has) to channel 1 line in of the Portastudio.

    I’d like to record the drums on one channel so I can record keys, guitar, bass on the 3 other channels.

    I’ve tried using the sub in and the stereo inputs but the recorded sound wasn’t better at all.
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    what kind of condition is the 414? are the heads in good condition? are they clean? how long since the machine was demagnetized and serviced? it may need a new belt.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  5. type14

    type14 Active Member

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    Aug 30, 2018
    Location:
    LONDON

    The Portastudio is in good condition. I regularly use it to record and regularly clean the heads.

    It’s the first time I try recording a drum machine with it.

    I think recording a drum machine on tape will require more than just plugging it to line in
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    i can't think of any reason there would be feedback doing the way you say you are. what kind of levels are you printing to the tape? are you over driving the input stage?

    if you are saturating the tape, the DBX nr will go screwy. especially with sources with a lot of lows, printing over 0dB to tape with DBX can cause NR tracking errors.
     
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Location:
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    What type of signal lead are you using to connect the headphone output of the Korg to the line input jack on the Tascam? You would have a problem with both a TS jack lead (unbalanced, like a guitar lead) or a TRS (balanced) lead. The best type to use is an insert cable, with the cable's TRS plug in the Korg headphone socket and the two TS plugs going into the line inputs of channels 1 and 2 of the Tascam. Since you have said that you want a single track to carry the Korg data, you could elect to ignore either of the L and R channels, or alternatively route a mix of them to one tape track if the Tascam allows that.

    The reason for the problem is that the Korg is driving both the L and R headphones on the tip (T) and ring (R) of its headphone jack. If you use either of the standard type of TS or TRS cables, it would result in the R channel being shorted to ground, at the Korg in the case of the TS cable and at the Tascam with the TRS cable, since the Tascam has an unbalanced line input with the ring grounded. It's undefined what the Korg will do when one of its headphone leads is shorted out, but it may well result in poor quality on the ungrounded side. Use of an insert cable allows the Korg to think it's driving high-impedance headphones, and keeps it happy.
     
    kmetal and Kurt Foster like this.
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    good catch!
     

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